Her Story: Sara Brull

Tell us more about yourself?  

Hi!! My name is Sara, known as @sarenabee. I am the youngest of three, originally born in Connecticut. I’ve lived in a few different states growing up, but spent most of my life in Florida. I went to college in Jacksonville, and earned a degree in Graphic Design and Digital Media. I studied abroad twice during my time in college, once in Rome, Italy and then in Dublin, Ireland. If you have the opportunity to do this, I HIGHLY SUGGEST IT! 

Traveling sparked my interest and love for Europe. Directly after graduation, I knew my fascination with traveling was not over, so I applied for a visa and moved to Ireland this year. I am currently living with my boyfriend, who also moved here. I will be here for at least another year, before I figure out the next chapter(s) in my life.

Do you have any interesting facts that people are not aware about?

My real name is Sarena, but I go by Sara. I’m honestly not sure why anymore; it just stuck when I was a baby. I think it’s a little too late to be called a different name now, but that’s where my Instagram username came from. 

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? 

I would have to say my parents. They’ve never told me “no” and have always encouraged me to chase my dreams. I started traveling so much, because of them.

Currently, where do you reside in and what do you love about it?  

Right now I’m in Dublin, Ireland.

I love living in a city. Dublin is small enough to feel like a home, but big enough to feel like a city. There is always something going on here, which is one of my favorite parts. It’s also amazing in the year that I’ve lived here, I’ve seen about 20 different friends and family members. I guess Dublin is a popular destination! 

Since you are living in Dublin, are there any places to visit?

There are so many amazing places; you can get lost looking at all of the street art in Dublin. Outside of Dublin, I love Belfast. There you can stop at The Giants Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Both of these have stunning views of the coast, and you get a taste of some huge Irish cliffs. Of course The Cliffs of Moher are fabulous. Another one of my favorite locations is Cobh. The buildings are all colorful and there’s some Titanic history to learn.

Do you have any suggestions on good café or restaurants?

One of my favorite places right now is the Church Bar, on Jervis Street. It used to be an old church, so you can still see the original artworks and the pipe organ. The Blind Pig is a local speakeasy, which is super fun, yummy drinks and food. The atmosphere is great! You can also find me sipping on tea at Clement and Pekoe, a trendy little shop in the city center.

Where do you love to shoot in Dublin?

One of my favorite local spots is the Howth Summit. The view is killer! It’s a small fishing village, with a super cute weekend market, and not to mention, great fish and chips.

What is a typical day like for you?

Right now I work from home for a company in California, so my schedule is very flexible. I have plenty of time to go out and meet new people in the community and take some time to photograph around the city.

If you were a city, which city would you choose?

I honestly cannot choose just one! At this point in time, I am a HUGE fan of Amsterdam. My boyfriend is Dutch, so I spent plenty of time there. It was great to see the city and everyday life as a local, instead of a tourist. I love the canals, tulips, windmills, and everything Dutch. The feeling of old architecture, mixed with such a modern lifestyle, makes it one of my favorite places on earth.

Have you ever put something unusual in the refrigerator?

This one made me laugh out loud. I have put my roommate’s socks, shoes, and car keys in the refrigerator.

If you could invite four famous people to dinner, who would you choose and why?

I would invite Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Alfred Hitchcock, and Jimmy Stewart to dinner. I really enjoy old classic movies; these people are some of my favorite icons. I think that I would have to host a murder mystery dinner. It would be so entertaining. 

You have mention that you have travelled to 15 countries, where are some of the countries you have been to? 

I’ve obviously been to The United States but I’ve also been to Australia, Spain, Portugal, Czech Republic, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Wales, Monaco and The United Kingdom. I plan to continue my travels, so if anyone suggests somewhere else, I’m all-ears.

Why do you love to travel?

I love the thought of being completely immersed in new cultures. I love to see the way the world lives. It’s so inspiring. This year I hope to visit Romania and Hungary, because of my parents. I also want to see Iceland one day.

Who do you travel with?

It really depends on the adventure sometimes family and friends, sometimes my boyfriend, sometimes alone. One of my travel partners is my cousin, Kim, and another is one of my best friends, Brooke. I can call either one of them up and they’re at my door with their luggage 15 minutes later. 

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What is in your luggage like when you travel?  

Oh my gosh, I am not a light packer. I admire anyone who can go backpacking! I tend to over pack, I think mostly because I’m a last minute kind of person and don’t know what I’ll need. I’ve learned to just wing it.  

Do you bring any particular items?

I cannot travel without my iPhone, because that’s where I do most of my photography. I’ve started to use my DSLR lately, but everything I post is always an iPhone shot. Also, I always bring about 3 different charging batteries because it’s impossible to find an unused outlet at the airport. Oh, and a conversion travel plug.

We would think that there are some funny/awkward moments while you travel, are there any interesting stories to share while you live abroad?

I had a funny/awkward moment while I was on the subway in New York. I was editing a photo, so that I could post it when I got service later, when all the sudden I feel a tap on my shoulder. A young girl said, “I know this might be weird, but are you @sarenabee on Instagram? I follow you.” At first, I was so caught off guard. It was unbelievably awkward. We laughed it off, and come to find out, a few months earlier I remember responding to her comments about where to visit in New York. It’s a really small world.

We noticed that you have received an invitation to the White House. How was the experience like? 

Yes, I was one of 20 people chosen to visit The White House. I guess there were a few thousand people that signed up! I was so honored! Unfortunately, my flight was delayed from Dublin, until the next day. By that time, I would be flying into Washington DC a few hours after the Instameet. :(

What would you call your style of photography?

I really am not sure. I suppose I would call it ‘travel/lifestyle’ photography. About 99% of my photos are taken on my iPhone, which would make it ‘mobile travel/lifestyle’ photography? I dusted off my DSLR about a month ago, and now I’m experimenting with stop motion. I’ll be uploading them to Vimeo in the near future.

What is your inspiration behind your photography?

I think my inspiration changes every month. I get so set on someone’s style and learn a lot about it, and then try to incorporate a piece of the style into my own photos. One of my favorite tools is the explore button in Instagram, because I’m constantly running across new accounts and finding new people to follow and talk to. This world is full of amazing talent.

Why do you love to photograph?

I love photography because it’s given me a sense of community. It’s a place that never sleeps. I can be posting at midnight my time, but get responses from people that see my images in the middle of their afternoon. I’ve been able to connect with so many various photographers around the globe, as well as keep friendships with these inspiring people along the way. I feel like I’m constantly learning and trying to improve. It’s really challenged me to capture all the moments in my life, and is a way to help others get to view different places in the world that I’ve been so lucky to travel to. With the help of Instagram and Steller, it encourages me to hold a visual diary.

How do you want to express your images to your audience? 

I mostly share my photos for people that haven’t traveled as much. Or that are looking for places to explore. When it comes to captions though, that’s a struggle for me. I can’t quite figure out the correct words to make a photo look as pretty in words as it does in a photograph.

What equipment do you use to shoot your beautiful photographs?

I mainly use my iPhone 6, however I do own several Nikons. I was a mobile ambassador in 2013 for Polaroid Fotobar, so I absolutely love all of my Polaroid cameras! I always keep an Olloclip on me and a Gorillapod, too. Just in case.

When did you started posting photo on Instagram?

I started posted on July 4, 2011! I downloaded the app before it was a social media platform. My first photo was of a candle. It was so random!

Have you met anyone interesting on Instagram?

I meet new people all the time. In Jacksonville, I have a solid group of people that I chat with almost everyday. We are referred to as #ThatJaxCrew. These guys are where Instagram started becoming an everyday thing for me, way more than just an app. If I ever have a question or just want to tell a joke for that matter, they’re the guys I look to first. So much talent! After I moved to Dublin, I rounded up some fellow Irish friends and have hosted an InstaMeet. There will be more on the way!

How has Instagram allow you to take on more photography projects?

Yes! I’ve had companies reach out to me and people writing articles on me. It’s crazy, like how did you even find me?

Do you have any upcoming photography projects that you can share with us?

I do have some upcoming projects in the works. As of right now, they’re in the beginning stages. To find more, you can follow my feed!

Lastly, what can we expect from you in the future?

More adventures! And lots of photos.